This year my Beach Ride is dedicated to my Aunt Martha. In 1955 she was the first patient to have open heart surgery at Aultman Hospital in Canton OH! Two years later, her baby daughter, Diane, had the same surgery. I'm happy to say Aunt Martha, who turned 86 in September, and my cousin Diane are both active and healthy! A generation later, my niece Cortney also had surgery to repair a heart defect. Today Cortney is Army Strong and serving our country! Research funded by the AHA helped develop and improve the surgeries that let them have active, healthy lives!
Research sponsored by the AHA has helped my family in many other ways. My father-in-law Robert "Bob" Scarpitti sadly passed away in May 2017 from a heart attack. But he had two by-pass surgeries 12 years apart that gave him many years of high quality life and let him see his great-grandchildren. In July 2017, following 2 cross-country flights in 4 days, I was diagnosed with a deep vein thrombosis. I spent the next 9 days in the hospital receiving thrombolytic therapy to dissolve the blood clot that went from my ankle into my abdomen! I also had 3 stents, similar to those used in heart patients, placed in a vein in my abdomen. The thrombolytic agents are small doses of the ones used in stroke and heart attack patients. Thanks AHA!
CPR training provided by the AHA also saves lives! I was attending a conference at a hotel when a man came running down the hall screaming "Does anyone know CPR?" I do and went running back up the hall with him. A young mother had collapsed, was not breathing and had no pulse. I told them to call 9-1-1 and commenced CPR. Scarlet's doctors say it is a miracle that she survived and has no deficits! Her little girl, who was five at the time, started 5th grade this year. What a wonderful feeling it is to know that God used me to save her life. No one else in the conference room with Scarlet that day knew CPR. If you don't know CPR or it's been a few years since you've taken a class please sign up for one today! Even a 60 second delay in starting effective CPR reduces the patient's chance of survival. I saved a stranger's life but it's much more likely that you will save the life of someone you love.
If heart disease or stroke has affected your family will you please make a donation? Every little bit helps! You can make an online donation by clicking the Donate Now box to the upper right. Or, you may make a check out to the American Heart Association and mail it to me at 2301 Valhalla Ct, Willow Spring, NC 27592. Thanks for helping save lives!